Is Lucky Bamboo Toxic To Cats?



It is believed that an arrangement of 6 stalks of lucky bamboo means good luck and wealth while 21 stalks spell immense or powerful blessings for you.

Scientifically named Dracaena sanderiana, the lucky bamboo is a houseplant that isn’t really a bamboo although it has a striking resemblance to it. It is said to enhance your Feng Shui.

There are around 1,400 species of bamboo which are all considered safe and non-toxic for your pet cats.

However, there is a bamboo lookalike that the Animal Poison Control Center warns pet owners of – the lucky bamboo. This indoor plant is said to belong to the tropical water lily family that thrives abundantly in both soil and water.

What is Lucky Bamboo?

When grown inside homes and offices, the lucky bamboo plant or also dubbed as the ribbon plant, Goddess of Mercy plant, friendship bamboo, curly bamboo, Belgian evergreen, Chinese water bamboo, and Chinese bamboo is said to create balance and attract positive energy into your space.

It’s a low-maintenance indoor plant that will thrive in bright lights. It loves to be sun-kissed so rotating your plant to the sunlight’s direction will help it grow better.

It can, however, grow even in minimal or poor lighting conditions. That’s how flexible and versatile this decorative plant can be. With proper care, the lucky bamboo can live for a decade and grow up to 3 feet.

This indoor plant named after Henry Frederick Conrad Sander, who is a famous German-English gardener, is common in Southeast Asian countries like Taiwan, Singapore, India, and China as well as in the rainforests of Africa.

It definitely loves the tropical climate. This home staple is also called the Kuan Yin bamboo that would usually adorn altars in China in the worship of the Goddess of Mercy.

How to Take Care of Lucky Bamboo

This friendship bamboo surely needs some pampering. It’s not rocket science to nurture and grow the lucky bamboo. All you would need to do is to cover the basics and add some artistic fervor to it.

Let the Sun Shine!

The lucky bamboo plant loves the sun. Do not however expose it to direct sunlight because it could burn or scorch its leaves.

If you notice a tinge of brown hue on the edges of its leaves then you should reposition it to avoid getting scorched. All it needs is a bit of sunlight. Indirect or moderate sunlight is recommended for this decorative plant.

Water it!

The lucky bamboo plant is versatile enough to thrive in both soil and water. If you choose to grow your plant in sol then you have to make sure the soil is damp and not too dry. Be careful not to overwater this plant because this can precipitate root rot.

You can grow the lucky bamboo water just make sure that the roots are fully submerged in the water. You also have to replenish the water every 10 days to keep it in top condition. It is recommended fresh bottled or distilled water.

Keep it in a Normal Temperature

This is grown ideally indoors. It’s a perfect office or house plant as it thrives in temperate climates. You can’t keep it too hot or too cold. It won’t survive in cold climates so don’t ever leave it near open windows in a cold draft.

Keep it Pest-Free

Lucky bamboo plants are also to pest infestation and fungal infections. It is recommended to keep the leaves and stalks dry to avoid bug infestation.

The lucky bamboo should be generally green in color so if you notice a yellow or grayish-white tinge then it could be infected. All you have to do now is to remove the discolored parts so as to avoid the spread of infection.

Repot and Propagate

You can re-pot the lucky bamboo once its roots become crowded. Just take it out and move it to a larger vase.

You can also trim its roots and then replace new rocks if you are keeping it underwater. If you use soil, then make sure you keep it damp.

To propagate, just look for a healthy stalk with an offshoot. Take the new stalk and then place it in a small vase or container.

How Lucky Can You Get? The Feng Shui Element of Lucky Bamboo

Lucky bamboo is a perfect Feng Shui plant and it has been the traditional prosperity or money tree set up every Chinese New Year because it has all five elements of the wood (plant), earth (pebbles), fire (red ribbon), water (water), and metal (metal coin).

The number of stalks affects your Feng Shui. This plant’s Chinese name is fu gui zhu which translates to the following – “Fu” for luck and fortune, “gui” for honor and power, and “zhu” which means bamboo.

The Lucky bamboo has always been synonymous with luck and wealth which is said to harness and attract positive energy into any space that it is placed such as in the home or office.

The placement of your lucky bamboo or dragon tree is crucial to harnessing its chi or energy flow. So, when this plant is placed in the southeast, it is said to attract prosperity and wealth while placing it on the east attracts good health.

This plant is a popular gift item for any occasion and not just during Christmas New Year.

The gift promises good luck and fortune to both the giver and receiver. You can also buy a plant for personal use and still get its luck bombs.

Feng Shui Meaning of Lucky Bamboo Stalks

The number of stalks is said to determine its Feng Shui powers to both the giver and receiver of the lucky bamboo plant.

1 Stalk

A single stalk of lucky bamboo is said to bring in both longevity and prosperity to any home or office space. It is also called the “lucky log” as it looks like a rootless log.  This is an ideal gift for startups or for new business ventures.

2 Stalks

This is a perfect gift for your loved ones because it harnesses double luck and love. This also shows love and affection for the receiver of the lucky bamboo. This makes a perfect gift for couples.

3 Stalks

This is a popular gift for both personal and professional purposes because it is said to attract long life, happiness, and career growth or promotions.

4 Stalks

People really avoid this number as it is said to be synonymous with negative energy and bad luck. It is also said to be unlucky because it is closely attached to the meaning of death.

5 Stalks

This is a very powerful gift that represents positive energy in the mental, emotional, physical, intuitive, and spiritual facets of an individual.

6 Stalks

This is also synonymous with harnessing and attracting money or wealth which makes it a good number for gift-giving.

7 Stalks

Giving yourself or other people this number of stalks will attract positive energy and good health.

8 Stalks

This is perfect for those who want to conceive as it is said to attract fertility and growth.

9 Stalks

This is said to nurture and attract great luck to anyone who has it.

10 Stalks

This is said to be a very lucky number because it represents completeness, happiness, and perfection.

21 Stalks

This number might be a lot as a gift or decorative element but is said to enhance both strong health and immense wealth for the giver and receiver.

Lucky bamboo has its great depth and significance in relation to Feng Shui. This makes this indoor plant a perfect gift for any occasion or a decorative piece for your home.

It attracts both good and positive energy plus enhances the visual appeal of any space.

Is Lucky Bamboo Safe for Your Cats to Eat?

Lucky bamboo or also referred to as the Chinese bamboo can be easily spotted because of its shiny green leaves and woody shrub appearance.

The leaves also have stunning white or silver strips at its center. This is said to be non-toxic or safe for humans but is found to be severely toxic or harmful for your pets.

This is in fact listed as a toxic substance in the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center. It is not safe for consumption by cats and dogs or any other animals. This is also said to cause stomach upset even in humans.

While it may be a favorite gift item for Feng Shui, it’s bad news for your cats. It’s under the Dracaena genus which is known for its mild toxicity level in the stems and leaves which poses harm on cats upon ingestion.

You should bring your pets to the nearest veterinarian or medical professional when you observe the following symptoms:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Drooling or hypersalivation
  • Overall weakness or fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Walking drunk or lack of coordination in movements
  • Abdominal pain
  • Depression
  • Increased heart rate
  • Anorexia

As cats generally do not eat leaves or any plants for that matter, then having the Madagascar dragon tree or lucky bamboo plant for both indoor and outdoor use can be safe.

However, you should still pay careful attention to your cat’s behavior.

The stalks or shoots of the lucky bamboo are said to contain a cyanogenic glycoside called taxiphyllin and saponins which may result in cyanide poisoning once ingested.

The Good and the Bad Sides of Lucky Bamboo

Lucky bamboo or the corn plant can thrive in any environment. It loves the sun but be careful not to ever put it in direct sunlight as it can get scorched.

So, a lower or moderate light level is considered best for this decorative indoor plant. Tap water can be used for your lucky bamboo plant or you may opt for distilled or bottled water.

The lucky bamboo should be placed in a clean low dish or vase which should ideally have an inch of space allocated in between the stalks and the edge of the bowl or container.

This provides a good room for the roots to propagate or spread out. If the stalks are growing immensely, make sure that the bowl can fully support the stalks and stabilize the bamboo’s height.

You can also train the lucky bamboo plant to grow in different forms although this would usually be bought in different forms, patterns, and arrangements depending on your Feng Shui or design preference.

This also needs a specialized fertilizer so you cannot use any plant fertilizer. Just make sure not to over-fertilize the lucky bamboo plan because it will burn.

It’s a very fun and practical indoor plant to have because it doesn’t require a lot of time or attention to maintain plus it doesn’t occupy that much space too.

On the other hand, lucky bamboo, being part of the Dracaena genus is said to be toxic to your pet cats or any household pets you may have.

So it is best to keep guard of your pets especially if it tends to be playful and could gnaw on things like plants.

But, overall, the lucky bamboo showcases great potential and perks for its Feng Shui and aesthetic elements.

It’s a very versatile and easy-to-maintain houseplant that requires very little attention so it won’t sting your pockets or burn a hole in it.

It’s one of the easiest plants to grow indoors because it loves the sun and requires very minimal upkeep. Most people would usually place the lucky bamboo stalks in water or pebbles.

You can cut or trim down the stalks to keep them shorter or any length you wish. It will just grow back or create new sprouts.

The Takeaway!

It’s fairly manageable even for busy people.

The lucky bamboo plant is a classic favorite not just for the Chinese New Year but all year round because it’s a practical gift that also promises good fortune, positive energy, good health, love, and luck in all aspects of life.

Now, who wouldn’t want all that in a plant? So, while it may have its negative points to consider, the positive revitalizing energy and luck it attracts still make this an ideal gift item or indoor plant for your home and office.



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